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5 Lube Substitutes You Should Absolutely Never Put In Your Vagina

Ah, lube. This slippery tool is amazing to grab when you want to take that orgasm up a notch, or when you’re facing a dry situation down there and need a quick fix (it happens). So it’s natural that sometimes you’d want a DIY option when you realize you’re totally out of the stuff and sex is on the table.

But experts say you might want to think twice before putting any old lube substitute up there. Even seemingly harmless slippery substances can contain allergens, deteriorate your skin, or interfere with condoms, says Dr Maureen Whelihan, an ob-gyn at the Center for Sexual Health and Education.

Beyond that little nugget of vagina wisdom, here’s a breakdown of the DIY or “natural” lubes you should avoid.

Coconut Oil

Whelihan says she loves coconut oil because it doesn’t contain additives. However, she points out that it it can deteriorate latex in condoms, making it more likely that they’ll break. That can leave you open to contracting an STI or having an unwanted pregnancy. The same goes for olive oil. Any oil-based lube can interfere with latex condoms.

And as we mentioned earlier, with regular use, it’s possible that using food products like these could result in an infection. Yuck.

Cooking Oil Or Shortening

Since this cooking staple is oil-based, it’s not condom-compatible. Plus, it actually makes for a terrible lubricant, says Dr Lauren Streicher, an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynaecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever. “It’s not all that slippery, so for most women, it’s not effective,” she says. And since it hasn’t been specifically formulated for vaginal use, she says there’s always a chance that it could irritate your vagina.


It’s there and it’s wet, so it makes sense that you’d consider using it as a lube when you’re in a pinch. But Streicher says it’s not slippery enough to be an effective lube. So you’re just wasting your time (and saliva). Plus, spit facilitates the transmission of STDs and could introduce infection into your vagina, just as unprotected oral sex can, says Jason James, M.D., medical director at Miami’s FemCare Ob-Gyn.

Petroleum Jelly

Baby Oil


There are a lot of potential irritants in lotions, like perfumes and propyl glycols (the water-soluble compounds that help lotion stay moist), which can cause swelling, puffiness, and general irritation down there, says Whelihan.

Some Safer Natural Options To Consider

Rather than risk an STD or infection down there, consider these better alternatives:

1. Coconut Oil

“Coconut oil is a favourite of lots of women,” says Dr Alyssa Dweck, a gynaecologist in New York. Beyond the fact that it smells and tastes good, it’s also easy to use since it’s a solid at room temperature, and turns into a liquid with warmer temps (like your body heat).

Just keep in mind that it can deteriorate latex condoms, says Whelihan, so don’t pair these two during sex. The same goes for olive oil, or any other oil-based lube.

2. OSKE Aqua Lubricant

“I love this lubricant because it’s natural, pH-balanced, vegan and hasn’t been tested on animals (good karma all round),” says our resident WH Sex editor It’s also latex safe and perfect to use with toys (a little pre-game fun is always a good idea).

3. Organic Machine Sensual – Glide

Enjoy the intimate sensuous pleasure of chocolate with Organic Machine Sensual Glide. It’s a lubricant made with totally natural, organic ingredients that are safe enough to eat and are addictively delicious.

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